Steelers Q&A with Ed Bouchette
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Question: I definitely noticed the absence of Aaron Smith from the defense. I think the defense played OK against the Bengals, but I think the "time of possesion" was our best defense. I really didn't see any linebackers break free or defensive backs get any good looks at Carson Palmer. Do you think that the absence of Aaron Smith will hurt the Steelers and their ability to sack the quarterback?
Erik Swanson, Avon, Ct.
BOUCHETTE: Generally, when you take a great player out of the lineup, it affects you. It does not mean you can't get away with it, but great players help lift their teams. Aaron Smith is one of the best defensive ends in Steelers history, in my opinion. He's a brute against the run, and gets a push to help put heat on the quarterback. Yes, I think they missed him in Cincinnati, but they also played more cover 2 to try to cut down Palmer's deep passing game and it worked.
First Published October 31, 2007 12:24 pm